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Social Studies

Elementary

Elementary Social Studies

As noted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the 2018 History and Social Science Framework “includes features designed to help students develop the skills to participate in and perhaps lead a society that will be more demographically and culturally diverse than any democratic society of the past.”

Hopkinton’s elementary students will participate in a social studies curriculum that is aligned to the DESE Framework; over the course of their elementary experience, students will be introduced to the fundamental principles of liberty, justice, and equality. Included in our units of study, especially in grades 4 and 5, will be a more robust foundation in history and government, with standards that address the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the 20th century Civil Rights movement, in addition to standards that travel further back in history to the American Revolution and the early Republic.

At all grade levels K-5, the study of history and social sciences will emphasize the skills of formulating questions, conducting research, evaluating sources, and synthesizing information. In addition, our students will spend time thinking analytically, reading varied texts, writing in response to the texts, and learning the basics of other topics addressed in the Framework such as economics and civic engagement.  As noted in the MA Standards for Literacy in History and Social Sciences, students will deepen their understanding of the concepts that are introduced over the course of the year through reading, writing, listening, and speaking; in addition, students will sharpen their ability to analyze information and craft logical arguments that are supported with evidence.

An emphasis on the Standards for History and Social Science Practice (rather than emphasis on memorizing “content” ) will support our students’ growth, development, and understanding of the big ideas in each unit of study.

Curriculum Snapshots

Kindergarten

Many Roles in Living, Learning, and Working Together

Students learn about classroom democracy, respect for one another, local geography, roles of people, national, state, and community traditions, and economics in the context of work and money. 

(Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2018 History and Social Science Framework)

Grade 1

Leadership, Cooperation, Unity, and Diversity

Students learn about leadership on many levels, the meaning of citizenship, and map types. They explore how the concepts of unity and diversity, respect for differences, and respect of self shape life in the United States, and how people make choices about purchasing goods and services and saving resources. 

(Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2018 History and Social Science Framework)

Grade 2

Global Geography: Places and Peoples, Cultures and Resources

Students learn about global geography, looking at reasons why people settle in particular places, why they migrate, how they bring culture with them, and how they earn a living, exchange goods and services, and save for the future.

(Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2018 History and Social Science Framework)

Grade 3

Massachusetts, Home to Many Different People

Students study Massachusetts and New England, beginning with their own city or town. They explore interactions among Native Peoples, European settlers and Africans, and learn about the Massachusetts people who led the American Revolution. The standards introduce students to the founding documents of Massachusetts and United States so that they may begin to discuss and apply ideas about self-government as they help develop codes of classroom rules, rights, and responsibilities.

(Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2018 History and Social Science Framework)

Grade 4

North American Geography and Peoples

Students learn about North America (Canada, Mexico, and the United States) and its peoples from a geographic perspective. They learn about ancient civilizations on the continent and early European exploration as they expand map reading, mapmaking, and geographic reasoning skills introduced in grades 2 and 3. They apply concepts of how geography affects human settlement and resource use, and how the westward expansion of the United States created a modern nation of 50 states and 16 territories.

(Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2018 History and Social Science Framework)

Grade 5

United States History to the Civil War and the Modern Civil Rights

Movement Building on their knowledge of North American geography and peoples, students learn more about the history of the colonies, the American Revolution, the development of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, the early Republic, and the westward expansion of the United States. They study the sectional conflicts over slavery that led to the Civil War and the long struggle in the 19th and 20th centuries for civil rights for all.

(Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2018 History and Social Science Framework)

District

Standards for History and Social Science Practice

Within the History Framework, a number of practice standards are included which will be embedded, in an age-appropriate manner, into instruction at all grade levels, kindergarten through grade 12:

  • Demonstrate civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions.

  • Develop focused questions or problem statements and conduct inquiries.

  • Organize information and data from multiple primary and secondary sources.

  • Analyze the purpose and point of view of each source; distinguish opinion from fact.

  • Evaluate the credibility, accuracy, and relevance of each source.

  • Argue or explain conclusions, using valid reasoning and evidence.

  • Determine next steps and take informed action, as appropriate.